It happened this week in 1915

February 27 – March 5: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

February 27 – March 5: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Gallant sendoff … Amid scenes of great enthusiasm and patriotism, the 47 members of the Cranbrook and district men who comprise Cranbrook’s contribution to the third Canadian contingent left Sunday at noon for Victoria, at which place they will go into training.

The Cranbrook men are going forth by scores and every time there is a call there will be more and more to respond from this little city. This was demonstrated when an order was received late Saturday night to recruit more men. It took 35 minutes to do the trick. Going some, eh,! for a little burg!

Cranbrook is not letting her sons go without a good send-off. She could not do that. Accordingly a round of entertainment has been prepared in their honor during the past week. The men met at the city hall Sunday morning at 11:30, when Mayor Bowness and other city officials delivered farewell addresses. In the council chamber were a number of leading citizens of the city, including the aldermen, members of the board of trade and a number of influential business men. The men were then informed that the photographer was laying in wait and wished to take a parting shot at them. This R. J. Binning successfully did, every man receiving his baptism of fire without a tremor.

The additional men added to the 36 reported last week were recruited at the last moment. The additional men were C. Brosseau, A. J. Converse, P. Neil, C. Norton, D. Ralston, W. Tennant, J. Vigers, W. Vigers, Leslie Walsh, Morris Poulson.

Many a mother and father gazed on their boy with pride. Their boy was going out in Canada’s defence. A few moist eyes were noticed in the vast multitude of onlookers. It was to be expected, when one considers that the parents of many of the boys are furnishing an only son for this great cause.

Looking after horses … Twelve men for the British Columbia Mounted Infantry which will accompany the third contingent are being recruited here this week and are daily going through the mounted drill. The men selected are Sergeant Austin, Pte. R. McKay, Chas. Gallamore, C. Cryderman, Bert Smoke, B. D. Heard, W. Johns, Nathan Barnhardt, Fred McDonald, E. J. H. Nolan, D. S. Taylor, J. H. Brown. These men are now expected to leave Cranbrook for the coast on Sunday, March 14th.


Sergeant Underhill answers roll call … A. T. Underhill has answered the call! On Tuesday J. A. Arnold, police magistrate, received a wire from Sergeant James Milne conveying the sad intelligence that A. T. Underhill had died at Tedworth Barracks, Dover. The message was brief, simply announcing the sad tidings.

Mr. Underhill left Cranbrook with the first contingent only a few short, months ago. On that particular occasion mothers of only sons, some mere boys, debonair, full of the joy of living, who said good-bye with laughing eyes, are being called upon by the Father to drink an exceedingly bitter cup!

We are being as a people knit closer together as nothing could so closely knit us, in the fellowship of pain, and there are, as George Eliot nobly says, some secrets taught by pain which are worth the purchase. In the school room, in the churches, in the homes, everywhere!

The cloud of war looms large! To the unlinking its presence intrudes merely as an ugly spectre. The death of A. T. Underhill brings the scene a little nearer home. “Tubby” Underhill has answered roll call many miles from the lines of the Allies!

Dave’s Note: To learn more about Alfred Thomas Underhillgo to https://www.kenoragreatwarproject.ca/canadian-infantry/underhill-alfred-thomas/

City Council resign in a body … Word was received in the city on Wednesday from Vancouver announcing that leave had been granted by the supreme court to the petitioner, Mr. W. B. McFarlane, to issue a writ to decide upon the validity of the election by acclamation of the city council in January last.

Tonight immediately following the council meeting the members resigned in a body in order to avoid the expense and delay of a lawsuit. In taking, this action the councilors felt that they were acting in the best interests of the ratepayers and the city as a whole.

A new election will be called in the near future to fill the positions. Mayor Bowness is now in full charge of the city until an election is held.

Some of the members of the resigned council will stand for election again while others have expressed their disgust at the turmoil of city politics and may refuse to run.

Commendable action … The action of the city council in resigning in a body rather than place the city in the position of defending them in a lawsuit is certainly a commendable action on their part.

The men who have been holding the positions of aldermen are all fully qualified and were declared elected by the returning officer, on advice of the city solicitor, and it is therefore no fault of the members of the council that they are placed in the predicament of defending their position. We believe these men should stand for re-election and that the voters would re-instate them, if they would become candidates again.

In saving the city the expense of a lawsuit they are actuated by the motives upon which their original platform was based—that of economy.

Mayor Bowness should have the support of these men to carry out his program for the year. There can be no reasonable excuse for not returning any member of the resigned council.


Basketball … The weekly basketball game last Monday night between the Stags and Athletics resulted in a victory for the latter by the score of 20-17.

The preliminary game between the Night Hawks and Early Birds resulted in a win for the Early Birds by the score of 15—11. For the winners Bamford and Musser starred while Jones was the bright luminary of the defeated team. The final game was, like the preceding ones of the league close the teams playing within a few points of each other throughout.

The Stags got an early lead but were unable to draw away from their opponents who kept coming and at half time the score was tied 9—9. The Stags again got the start after the intermission but were unable to hold the lead and were overhauled by the Athletics who when the final whistle blew and the game tucked away with three points to spare. McIlwaine notched 10 of the winners’ points and Crowe tallied 13 for the losers.

The first contingent … The news that the first contingent is in action is very satisfactory to every Canadian. The men themselves must be glad. Though they will henceforth be on the battle line, and lists of killed, wounded and missing will appear in the newspapers almost every day, and shadows will be falling over Canadian homes, everyone is glad that at length the men are in the trenches. They have been in training until they must have reached a high degree of efficiency in the military art.

The ancient law of the survival of the fittest has worked out in their case. The weak and the unfit have been weeded out. Physical training and discipline have done for them all they will do for any men. They have been sternly taught that war is a serious business, and they have probably learned their lesson well. But we may be sure that they have not lost the characteristics of individuals, in the sense that European troops do.

In spite of what the casualty list means, Canadians at home looked forward with lively expectations when the Canadian troops were actively engaged with the enemy. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the men will do well. But the war spirit in Canada would leap up like a flame if the news came that a Canadian regiment had made a successful bayonet charge.

Princess Patricia’s infantry have done well, but in that splendid regiment there are few native born Canadians. Therefore its annals have not got the imaginative and personal interest appeal to Canadians that the success of our own regiments would have.

Dance classes … Miss Laura Richards and Mrs. Edmondson are commencing a dancing class in the Maple Hall on Monday evening, March 15th, at 7:30 p.m. These dances will be held on every Monday and Friday of each week. All dances, including the latest, will be taught. For particulars apply Mrs. Edmondson or Miss Richards.

Vital statistics … Cranbrook vital statistics for February: Births, 20; marriages, 1; deaths, 1.

Sorry for the theft … The case of Roy Bennett, charged with theft by Chief of Police Adams, was brought before Magistrate Arnold on Monday afternoon. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge and said that he was sorry he had taken the money from the chief, who had befriended him. He was sentenced to one year by the magistrate and sentence suspended pending good behavior. No money was found on Bennett when arrested, but a bad cut on his head has kept him under the doctors’ care ever since and would lead to the opinion that he had been “rolled” for the money after he had stolen it from the chief’s office.

Word from Dr. Bell … Rev. W. K. Thomson on Wednesday received a post card from Dr. J. H. M. Bell, postmarked Liege, Belgium, where the doctor is engaged in Red Cross work within the enemy’s lines.

Cigars and pool … Dick Griffin, one of Cranbrook’s popular railroad men, has purchased the Macdonald cigar store and pool room on Baker street, taking charge of his new establishment on March first. His adv. appears in another column. He invites his friends to come in and see him. His long residence in the district and a wide acquaintance among the boys on the road should assist him in making a success of his new business venture.


In England or France? … A photograph of Sergeant James Milne is being published in the daily papers through Canada this week under the heading “Toronto Giant Now in France.” Toronto ought to have enough celebrities without stealing Cranbrook’s native son. Under the picture is the wording, “Sergeant James Milne, who is now in France with the Twelfth Battalion Canadian Infantry.” He is six feet, three inches tall.” According to the best information we have at hand Sergeant Milne is still in England, being held with the reserves of the Canadian expeditionary force.

Fire at city hall … Immediately following the departure of the third contingent last Sunday a fire alarm was turned in which proved to be at the city hall. The fire originated in one of the store rooms in the basement and was soon extinguished by the sturdy firemen. There was considerable smoke for several minutes and the large crowd on the street was interested spectators of the activity of the fire department.

Awarded watches … Eleven members of the Presbyterian Church in the third contingent were entertained by members of the Ladies Aid of Knox Presbyterian church at the Y.M.C.A. building on last Friday night. Cake and ice cream were served and a presentation was made by the pastor, who on behalf of the Ladies Aid, wished them God-speed and a safe return and courage for the trials that are before them. A watch was presented to each of the departing members.

Masonic dance … The Cranbrook Masonic Social Club held their third dance on Thursday last, which was a decided success. The dance was well attended and as twelve p.m. is the closing hour it had to be extended as no person seemed satisfied when the regular closing time came around.

A very enjoyable lunch was served in the upstairs parlors by the committee, of which everyone present did ample justice.

The committee and members all join in thanking the ladies for their kindness in providing the lunches on the different occasions. Dr. and Mrs. McCallum, of Fort Steele, and Mrs. Clark, Mrs. McCallum’s sister, from Saskatoon, attended the dance.

The club will be pleased to have the Masons from outside points attend their series of dances, as one of the chief functions of the club is the promotion of social intercourse.

The music was furnished by the Kootenay orchestra, and was much appreciated by all.

Prize winners … The pure bred Holstein calf raffled by the Sunshine Society Saturday night at the Rex theatre was won by H. G. Hall, of Jaffray, ticket No. 313. The Sunshine Society cleared $140.00 on this raffle and Mrs. Johnson, the secretary, wishes to thank all those who so kindly assisted her in selling tickets and especially all those who sold tickets in their respective towns. The school children’s prizes for selling tickets were won by Eneas Hoggarth with first prize, three months complimentary to the Rex; Tom Hoggarth second prize, two months complimentary and the third prize, a one month complimentary was divided between Charley Clapp and Leonard Burton.